Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Why I Love Not Decorating For Hanukkah

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Have you ever seen a house decorated to the nines for Hanukkah?

I have not, and IMHO, it cannot be done.

I've tried wrapping blue and silver garland around the bannister...
and hanging a big, tinsel Jewish star on the door.

It just doesn't cut it, my friends.

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Maybe  it has something to do with the colors. 
When the meeting was held to decide holiday colors,
Hanukkah got the short end of the rainbow, 
with cool blues and silvers, 
as opposed to Christmas' warm reds and greens.
This creates a decorating dilemma for me, 
since blue and silver don't get along with the other colors in my home.
So...I have to confine my Hanukkah blues to a small area.

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I'd like to be able to add some natural elements in my decor,
that would reflect the miracle of Hanukkah, but there are no boughs of holly, no evergreen trees, and no red berries.
The closest we come to "natural" is with food, lol.
But unlike gingerbread houses and candy canes,
latkes (potato pancakes) and jelly doughnuts don't lend themselves to decorating
(as if there'd by any leftovers, hah!).
So, what then, deck the halls with loaves of challah?

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I'm not really a fan of Hanukkah bushes.
They don't hold a candle -- or should I say, eight candles -- to a Christmas tree.
To me, no matter how many dreidels and Jewish stars you hang on them,
they still look like a Christmas tree in Chanukah clothing. 
I couldn't resist, however, hanging a few dreidels on my winter branches 
just for laughs...
and Mr. Goo Shoes did laugh when he saw it.

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Although many people start decorating for Christmas right after Thanksgiving,
it doesn't begin to look a lot like Hanukkah around here until just a few days before.
We are usually rummaging through the closets looking for the menorahs...

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

and, where the heck are those Hanukkah candles that I bought on sale last year?

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

 Now lest you think I am asking for I pity party,
let me assure you I am not.
I'm not complaining, just explaining.

I LOVE not decorating for Hanukkah!

To me, getting ready for the Festival of Lights means 
pulling a few treasured items out of storage...

Like the menorahs Junior Goo Shoes made when he was little, 
and the menorah house we bought him years ago.

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I love that my grandparents, whom I never knew, lit the same menorah 
that now sits on my counter.

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

This menorah, so special to us because we bought it in Israel two years ago, 
is on display year-round...

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes 
And, anyone who comes to my house has to hear why this 2,000-year-old broken pottery is sitting next to it, even if I've told them the story ten times before.

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

We set aside one night to have a family Hanukkah party,
and Aunt Goo Shoes whips up enough latkes to serve Judah Macabee's entire army.

Our dog, Sadie, recognizes the blessing over the candles,
and when we sing it, she goes CRAZY, because she knows
I think I'll record her antics this year. 

When Junior Goo Shoes was born, we were given this dreidel as a gift...
(oy, I should have polished it!)

This one, I bought at TJ Maxx a couple of weeks ago.

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

So although my house isn't decorated from head to toe,
the Hanukkah candles create a warm glow.
Only sentimental items are on display,
and the best part is -- not much to put away!

OMG, I did not just write that poem, did I? 

Hanukkah Decor - Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

 Wishing those who celebrate a very Happy Hanukkah!

Linking with:


  1. Dear Amy, A very Happy and very Blessed Hanukkah.
    I love that you leave the menorah out all year. It is beautiful.
    xo Catherine

  2. Hanukkah has always seemed like a more spiritual holiday to me than Christmas, and the decorations reflect that. I guess since blue is the official color you don't have quite the flexibility we do for variety and if blue doesn't work with your decor that could be a challenge. Looks like you have managed to overcome that challenge quite nicely!

    Happy holidays!

  3. Hi Amy!
    I just love reading your blog. It never fails to make me smile. And your photographs...just wonderful. My best wishes to you and your family for the happiest of holidays!

  4. Happy Hanukkah to you! Love all your different Menorah's! I have a beautiful one too but it doesn't seem to go in my Victorian house! Great post!

  5. Loaves of challah! That cracked me up. Truly though, your menorahs and 2000 year old pottery is something special. I love Christmas d├ęcor, but living with it becomes a little suffocating. I suppose that's why everyone can't wait to rip it down as soon as Christmas is over. All of this red I used this year is seriously making me twitchy, too. I can't wait until December 26!

  6. My oldest son's girlfriend all through HS was Jewish. I loved going to her house to celebrate Hanukkah and enjoy her mom's latkes. So thin and crisp...I could eat them all night. Then they'd come to our place for Christmas dinner.Those were fine times till they went off to college and eventually stopped seeing each other.
    Fun post and cute poem that you stuck in there :) Enjoy Your Hanukkah! :)

  7. I love this, Amy. It is so different from what we do and so interesting to me. I love so many of your traditions ad the history behind them. You have some amazing history! The things you have displayed are just gorgeous! Blessings to you as you celebrate Hanukkah! xo Diana

  8. I have always found my Jewish friends have more tasteful decor at this time of year rather than the brash bright colours of Christmas. So, I love the blues and silvers of your decorating and I wish you a wonderful Hanukkah! xx

  9. Happy Hanukkah!
    What a great post.
    Your menorah is beautiful.
    diane @ thoughts and shots

  10. Your decorations are very pretty and your menorahs are beautiful. I don't use much red. A red and green scheme gets very tired by the time Christmas day arrives. That is why I usually try out different color combinations. I've had blue and silver before. It looks like I'm trying to celebrate the Dallas Cowboys. :)
    Have a Happy Hanukkah.

  11. Happy Hanukkah dear friend - your not decorations are fabulous and picture perfect!

  12. I love seeing your Hanukkah decorations and hearing about your traditions. Personally I love blue ... it would go well with my decor :) Happy Hanukkah to you and your family!

  13. I know very little about this holiday that any insight is informative...personally I like blue and and green can be gaudy! 2000 year old broken pottery? one doesn't find this in every antique store...I'd love to hear the story!

  14. sooo you are jewish huh? me too? on my dad's side which explains my last name - Franks. lol. traced our family back to Poland in the early 1800s couldn't go back any further but I love how you have decorated your home :-)

  15. Weirdly enough, the blue and silver would look great in my Cottage, a lot more than red and dark green! Happy Hanukkah!

  16. this is a spot on post! i just said something about no matter you do, it's just dreidels and menorahs. there's nothing "more." no alternate colors, or the people who are doing a very rustic, neutral xmas. you just can't do that with chanukah! i totally loved this post! yay and happy chanukah!

  17. I am almost pi$$inag my pants here - deck the halls with loaves of Challah - you are too funny!
    This Catholic girl with Jewish roots on her Father's side ( so it doesn't even count lol ) used to put up both decorations - Vey iz mir !!!
    A Menorah beside the Nativity scene LMHO
    Ok - this is going to be a long comment because I have to tell you about a routine Joan Rivers once did here in Montreal ( well I suppose everywhere )
    She used to put up a tree every year - and she thought she'd put a nativity set under it - only Mary would have on a Chanel suit - with a Louis Vitton purse - and Leboutin shoes - why should she walk around in schmata's she wondered? I miss her.
    Happy Hanukkah Amy !

  18. It's always interesting to hear the Jewish traditions for Hanukkah. I used to work with a girl from NY who was Jewish and I learned so much from her. Hope you're having a great Hanukkah!

  19. Amy, you may not do much decorating for Hanukkah, but what you do is elegant. I'm always drawn to these blues you show and they're lovely with the different metals, although I know the significance of the pieces are what's important (beauty does count though, doesn't it?).

    As your other commenters have said, this was a deliciously funny and real post, one that most of us can empathize with. Going overboard is so easy. This was supposed to be the year I cut back. I think I'm going to have to give it away for me to stick to that plan. Each January 1st I visualize only having to discard greenery, flowers, fruit and nuts instead of "packing away". One year I'm going to stick to that, but I don't think I'll ever reach the point my mother reached when she just decorated the Norfolk Island pine!

  20. We don't decorate the house too. But we starts feeling the holiday about a week before when the kids start to bring what they created in school - dreidels , Hanukkah lamps and drawings.

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